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Salary History Inquiry Bans

Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor

Several states and municipalities have passed laws restricting an employer's ability to seek information about a job applicant's salary history. The intent of these laws is to help close the wage gap between male and female job candidates doing the same or similar work. The reasoning is that relying on a candidate's salary history to determine compensation perpetuates the gender wage gap. In other words, if a female employee was paid a lower salary at a prior job than her male coworkers for comparable work, that salary then follows that female employee from job to job, placing her at a continuing disadvantage. These laws are intended to help break that cycle.

The following are key steps an employer can take to ensure compliance with these laws.

1. Remove the Salary History Question From Job Applications